March 12, 2020 | #FliptheScript
Parent Community Can Flip the Script
Recently, my husband and I have been toying with the idea of buying a new home. This means I have been looking (and looking again) at various properties of interest. One house I saw seemed lovely at first glance, but there was something odd about the house that I couldn’t put my finger on. Then, it hit me. The house did not have one single bookshelf in it. It did have six TVs including one in a child’s bedroom. After my initial shock wore off, I realized that this is simply our modern world today. Most homes have far more T.V.s, gadgets, phones, iPads, chargers, and video games than bookshelves.
Romans 12:2 instructs us not to be conformed to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I cannot think of an easier way to see our children conformed to the patterns of this world than by allowing our children to think that their diet of “free time” must consist largely of media driven entertainment – no matter if it is Disney-cute or partially educational. Even if the message is able to be fully vetted, the medium itself is habit-conforming.
These foundational patterns will be learned and solidified in childhood. They will affect the choices and affections of our students long after they move away from home. Of course, media-driven entertainment gives a fun break, but it comes without true rest. It pushes pause on the stressful things in life we don’t want to engage. It distracts us from the parts of our character we don’t like and dulls our struggle against our own fallen nature. It prevents us from developing a mature self-awareness that only comes from periods of boredom and solitude. In fact, entertainment conforms us to the perfect worldly “chill” mode. It does not renew the mind; it anesthetizes the mind and makes resisting anything nearly impossible. Then, when we wake up, we are just as worn out and tired as when we hit play.
PCS parents have the exciting opportunity to “Flip the Script.” We get to carve out a special space in this city where we fight against the patterns of this world together. We don’t have to feel that we are parenting alone and uphill against the latest kiddie mob trends; rather, we can take courage that we say “no” to the common pathways of this world as a community.
Will our children be truly transformed? Only the Lord knows what the future holds, but as parents, we can certainly set the conditions of the soil in which our children grow. Together, we don’t have to be naive about cause and effect. We can be wise as serpents to the ways the media companies are programming apps and games to make our children conform. We can be shrewd, knowing well the difference between entertainment and renewal of the mind.
When I see the glimmer of innocence that is preserved at PCS – the sixth graders who are not too cool to choose the parachute games at recess, the fifth graders who still create make-believe games with stories from literature and history, the seventh and eighth graders who are still so open and soft to this message of transformation – I know that PCS parents are onto something special and I know that it is worth staying fully awake and diving deeper into this journey of forming our children – together.